A tense State of Origin debate led to his heat-of-the-moment slip-up.
New Idea team
The annual State of Origin rugby tournament is notorious for bringing out people's harsh competitive edge. This proved no different for The Today Show host Karl Stefanovic, who is an avid Queensland supporter.
Ahead of the Wednesday night match on May 31, Karl and co-host Sarah Abo interviewed NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler. The veteran morning show host was by no means quiet about his Maroons spirit where, during a live-cross interview, Karl let slip some not-so-TV-appropriate words directed at the opposition's coach.
WATCH: Today Show's Sarah Abo takes a swipe at Karl Stefanovic. Article continues after video.
"You people from New South Wales represent nothing... just nothing," Karl told Brad gratingly.
While Brad shook his head in disagreement, Sarah Abo proclaimed, "I'm neutral here, don't take it out on me!"
"Fire up big fella. We love it that you're here on the show and, as I always say, you're a great bloke, you could be a Queenslander," Karl continued in jest.
A State of Origin interview got tense.
While Brad scratched his chin and scoffed, Karl quickly interpreted this gesture as a diss.
In a similar chin gesture, that can be interpreted as a cussing sign, Karl then proceeded to utter an Italian profanity.
This was followed with a quick self-interjection, "If you can say that, I think it's Italian for 'f-off'.
With Brad exiting the screen and the show heading to an advertisement break, Karl continued, "Just for our Italian friends out there, I didn't know what it meant, that's why I said it. So apologies if I offended anyone."
WATCH: Karl Stefanovic promises surprising State of Origin ultimatum. Article continues after video.
Upon returning Sarah told viewers, "Yes, Karl would like to apologise to our Italian audience out there."
"But that's ok because we all still love you," she added.